Today's apparel entrepreneurs know that becoming an expert in raw materials will give you the edge you need to market your apparel designer skills to clients.
But as a longtime apparel entrepreneur, I've learned that one of the essentials is knowing how to tell certain fabrics, and their construction, apart from others.
I've therefore put this list of five things to look for when sourcing your fabric. Knowing the answers to these key things will make all the difference in the world when it comes to the success of your fabric sourcing.
1. THE CONTENT TEST
The tag on any given shirt will only give you about 15% of the information you need about the content of the fabric. So to go to a manufacturer and say that you have a favorite shirt with material that is 97% cotton and 3% spandex, for instance, would only give the manufacturer a small glimpse into what you, precisely, are looking for.
2. IS THE FABRIC KNIT OR WOVEN?
This is one of the most basic elements of knowing your fabric. If you're new to the industry, however, you may not know this. A lot of people don't know the difference between the two fabrics. But knowing the difference is actually one of the key things that will answer a series of other questions for you. For instance, which manufacturer will you go to? What vendors will you outsource to? Most fabric mills specialize in either one or the other -- knit or woven -- so don't count on having a "one-stop shop" for your fabric, either.
3. WHAT TYPE OF KNOT OR WEAVE?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of types of knots and weaves that are available. The trick is to determine which type, specifically, you are looking for. The way the fabric is tied together determine the type of knot -- or weave -- it is.
4. WHAT'S THE WEIGHT OF THE FABRIC?
Fabrics are measured by the gram. So, a fabric that's 199 g. is obviously going to be a different type of fabric than one that's 300 g. Even if two fabrics have the same characteristics as described above, they will be completely different fabrics if they have different weights.
5. WHAT'S THE GAUGE OF THE YARN?
You can have two fabrics that have the same characteristics in every other category, but if they have two different gauges of yarn, they will be two completely different fabrics.
FOR APPAREL DESIGNERS: CONCEPTION TO COMPLETION
We source fabrics from wholesale vendors across the globe and can arrange made-to-order or specially developed custom fabrics. We listen to your vision, suggest the best raw materials, and present you with hand-selected swatches to evaluate.
You select the perfect material and let us take care of the sourcing, ordering, or other requirements.
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